MR says his brother not Namal a possible candidate at next election

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Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says his brother will be a likely candidate at the next Presidential elections.

Rajapaksa told The Hindu in an interview in India that he will lead the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at the next Presidential elections.

However he said that if he is unable to contest the election owing to the 19th Amendment then the joint opposition will pick another candidate.

“There is a view that despite the Amendment I can fight elections and then fight it out in court. But I still have to decide whether to take that risk. Another option is to announce a candidate acceptable to all. My son [Namal Rajapaksa] can’t be a presidential candidate since they have now raised the minimum age to 35 years, instead of 30, so he can’t be considered in 2019. My brother is certainly a contender, but the party and the coalition will have to decide who the people want,” he said.

Rajapaksa also said that President Maithripala Sirisena is not prepared to work with him.

“We have a new party [Sri Lanka Podujana Peramunal], and our president is G.L. Peiris. So he must reach out to us since we got about 45% of the vote in a three-cornered fight,” he said.

He also said that a Government must be strong and speak in one voice. Rajapaksa says currently, the Prime Minister says one thing and the President contradicts him so the policies differ within the Government. (Colombo Gazette)

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